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Indigenous bishops criticize same-sex marriage vote

Posted on: September 23rd, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

By Tali Folkins on September, 23 2016

National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald, left, and Bishop Lydia Mamakwa, of the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh,  during the opening worship at General Synod 2016. Photo: Art Babych


In the wake of July’s vote on same-sex marriages at General Synod, Indigenous Anglicans intend to “proceed towards self-determination with urgency,” the Anglican Church of Canada’s three Indigenous bishops say. General Synod voted this summer to provisionally approve changes to the marriage canon, which would allow same-sex marriages. The proposed changes must pass a second reading, slated for the next General Synod in 2019, before they can take effect.

On Thursday, September 22, National Indigenous Bishop Mark MacDonald; Bishop Lydia Mamakwa, of the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh; and Bishop Adam Halkett, of Missinipi, released a joint statement they say was requested by an Indigenous circle that met after the results of July’s vote were revealed. The bishops begin by saying that they do not speak for all Indigenous peoples, although, they add, they have consulted “broadly and deeply” with many. The statement voices displeasure both with the decision and the process it was made, and expresses desire for a more self-determined Indigenous Anglican community in Canada.

“We do not agree with the decision and believe that it puts our communities in a difficult place in regards to our relation and community with the Anglican Church of Canada,” the bishops say.

While they intend to discern their exact course of action “in the days ahead,” the bishops say, they also commit to continuing “in our conversation with the Anglican Church of Canada in regards to self-determination and mutual cooperation in our Anglican Christian ministry.”

The bishops continue, “We will proceed towards self-determination with all urgency.”

At the same time, they say they will also “seek ways to continue our conversation with the LGBTQ [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer] communities and individuals, affirming our earlier statements of love and welcome.”


Bishop Adam Halkett, of Missinipi, at General Synod this summer. Photo: Art Babych


The statement also calls for a church inquiry into the process by which July’s decision was made.

“We believe that this entire incident calls for a review and rethinking of the ways that the Church conducts its business,” the statement reads. “We have resolved to work with you to see that we never have to be in this kind of situation again.”

Particularly painful, the bishops say, was the “silencing” of an elder during debate on the floor of synod. Although this was understandable given the “Western process” that was followed at synod, the bishops say, an apology to the elder is in order.

The statement does not include an account of how the elder was allegedly silenced. Members of synod who wished to join the debate were given a time limit.

The Canadian Charter of Rights, the bishops say, guarantees the church’s right to “complete its pastoral work in marriages,” and also that the country’s Indigenous peoples are “self-determining with regard to basic cultural and social matters.” This guarantee, the statement says, is “fundamental to the Nation-to-Nation relationship which is at the base of Indigenous Rights, reconciliation and a promising future for all of Canada.” These rights, they say, are also affirmed by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Given this, the bishops say, “we are deeply disturbed and disappointed that so little attention was paid to our pastoral and social self-determination and the right to free, prior and informed consent.”

That Indigenous people must give “free, prior and informed consent” to what is done on their territory is one of the principles of UNDRIP.

Indigenous Anglican elders, the bishops say, should have been “actively involved” with discussions to change the marriage canon. But neither discussion of the matter nor This Holy Estate—the report of the Commission on the Marriage Canon—were translated into Indigenous languages, they say.

The bishops say they voted against changing the marriage canon not as a statement against anyone, but as an expression of their own understanding of marriage—an understanding they say is closely tied to their concept of creation itself.

“It is our understanding that, while homosexual persons have always had a place in our societies, same-sex marriage, itself, has not,” the bishops say. “We find in both our reading of Creation and Scripture the unique relationship of Man and Woman. The difference between the two, coming together in the miracle of a unique spiritual communion, is essential to the way we understand marriage—but not only marriage, it is the way we understand the Land, the way we understand Creation.”

The change to the canon, the bishops acknowledge, includes an “opt-in” clause, so that same-sex marriages would be permitted in a diocese only if authorized by the bishop. But they object to the changes made in the definition of marriage.

“Although the canon does not force anyone to do anything, the language of the revised canon changes the fundamental meaning of marriage to make it gender neutral,” the statement reads. “This is both a significant and unacceptable change to our communities, who still find male and female as essential to their understanding of the marriage ceremony.”

The statement, which is a little more than two pages long, concludes with the bishops’ expressions of regret for the discord they see the issue as having caused, at a time when they hoped for reconciliation.

“We are deeply sad that, at a time in which the Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples of the Anglican Church of Canada warmly embraced each other and a new future…we came to such divisiveness,” the bishops say. “We are deeply sorry for any ways that our actions—words and acts of sin by doing and/or not-doing—contributed to this outcome and will seek to do our very best in the future to embody the reconciliation that we see in Jesus. We believe that Christ is present among us, by His own power and promise, and we will look for Him to guide us into a better future.

“We, finally, pledge our very best attempts to remain brothers and sisters to all Anglicans, living out our baptismal covenant in the bonds of affection and mutual faithfulness.”

 

About the Author

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal.  His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.

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Anglican Journal News, September 23, 2016

New Indigenous native priest named in diocese of Toronto

Posted on: September 21st, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

By Tali Folkins on September, 20 2016

The Rev. Chris Harper, who has served as rector of St. Michael and All Angels in Thunder Bay, Ont., for the past four years, has been serving as Indigenous native priest for the diocese of Toronto since September 1. Photo: Contributed


A Saskatchewan-born son of a residential school survivor has been chosen to lead Indigenous ministry in the diocese of Toronto.

The Rev. Chris Harper, a Plains Cree man who has served as rector of St. Michael and All Angels in Thunder Bay, Ont., for the past four years, began his term September 1 after being named to the position earlier this year. He succeeds Canon Andrew Wesley, who has retired.

One of Harper’s first moves has been to change the name of the position. Wesley was known as Aboriginal priest for the diocese, but Harper prefers the title of Indigenous native priest, because it combines terms for First-Nations people that are current in both Canada and the U.S.

“It’s my way of saying I don’t see borders,” he says. The Canada-U.S. border, which now separates Mohawk families, for example, did not exist before the arrival of Europeans, he points out.

One of his main tasks, he says, will be to help parishes of the diocese understand the needs of Indigenous ministry, especially in terms of implementing the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Harper says he wants to help churches see and acknowledge the Indigenous people that sit in the pews around them—“or else, if not that, why they’re not in the pews around them. Because Indigenous people are everywhere.”

According to the diocese of Toronto, there are an estimated 60,000 Indigenous people in the city of Toronto. Within this population, whose members are drawn from first peoples across the country, there is at the same time both diversity and a strong sense of community, Harper says. It’s one reason, he says, why he doesn’t think it will be a challenge for him to adapt to big-city ministry, despite his rural origins.

“The wonderful blend of all First Nations congregating in one city brings this wondrous diversity of tradition and practice,” he says. “You don’t see yourself as an individual from your reserve, but you see all the other First Nations [people] as brothers and sisters…I think this affords a wondrous opportunity, especially in ministry. Doors naturally open.”

The diocese also includes Curve Lake First Nation, outside Peterborough, Ont.

Harper says he also wants to raise awareness in the diocese of Indigenous spirituality and worship, to find areas of common ground with non-Indigenous spirituality and worship, and “bring the two worlds together.” It’s a role, he says, for which his background as an Indigenous Anglican priest has prepared him well.

“In some senses, I guess you could say trying to bridge two worlds—that’s something I’ve always done all my life…I’ve always walked two worlds,” he says.

Harper was born in Saskatchewan and grew up there and in Alberta, with an Anglican upbringing. He has worked as an emergency medical technician and served as head of Emergency Medical Services at Onion Lake Cree Nation, Sask. He studied theology at James Settee College in the diocese of Saskatchewan and Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto, earning his master of divinity degree there in 2005. He was priested in the same year, serving for a time as rector of a multi-point parish in the diocese of Saskatchewan. For the past four years, Harper has served as rector of St. Michael and All Angels in Thunder Bay, Ont.

In an article on Harper’s appointment published this summer on the diocese of Toronto’s website, Archbishop Colin Johnson said at least half of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit people of the diocese are Anglican.

“That’s a huge population, so this offers an opportunity to serve them more effectively,” he said.

About the Author

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal.  His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.

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Anglican Journal News, September 20, 2016

Canadian Foodgrains tries new model of charity crop-growing

Posted on: September 18th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

By Tali Folkins on September 15, 2016

Larry Dyck, lead farmer for Grow Hope Niagara, explains how drought has affected this year’s corn crop. Photo: Simon Chambers


There’s a new sign on a 41-acre (17 ha) cornfield in Vineland, Ont. Towering over local farmer Larry Dyck, the orange sign bears a photo of a smiling child, and the words “Grow Hope” in big letters. In smaller type, underneath, are the logos of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and Bethesda Services, a Mennonite-run organization for people with special needs.

In fact, Bethesda, which owns the land, has been allowing local farmers to grow crops on it to raise money for Canadian Foodgrains for nearly two decades. This year, however, something new is being tried on the property—a model of charity crop-growing that is one of the first of its kind in Canada—that project partners hope may become increasingly common in the years to come.

The project, Grow Hope Niagara, is based on Grow Hope Manitoba, a project that began last year in Niverville, Man., a rural community about 45 km south of Winnipeg.

Both involve raising money for the account of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a Mennonite relief and development organization, in the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. What’s new about both is that they invite donors to “sponsor” an area of the field, to pay for the costs of growing and harvesting the crop. Foodgrains is asking would-be sponsors—churches, other organizations and individuals—to give $300, $400 or $500 per acre, depending on the crop being grown.

The Manitoba project initially raised $59,278, according to Canadian Foodgrains. This support funded the cultivation of 197 acres (79.7 ha) of wheat; when the harvest was sold, $92,400 in proceeds then went to the MCC account at Canadian Foodgrains. When combined with matching funds from the Canadian federal government, this could mean up to $462,000 for MCC to spend on food aid in poor countries, according to Canadian Foodgrains.

Donors to Grow Hope Niagara help pay the cost of raising the crop by sponsoring a parcel of the land. Photo: Simon Chambers


Excited by Grow Hope Manitoba, Dave Epp, Canadian Foodgrains’ Ontario representative, approached Dyck last winter about doing something similar with the Niagara field. At one time, Dyck was one of six or seven local farmers and a number of corporate sponsors involved in growing crops for charity on the Bethesda-owned property, but for various reasons, all the other farmers but Dyck had moved on. Copying Grow Hope Manitoba, Epp thought, might help re-energize the project.

“I’m not afraid to say the word ‘copy’—or ‘beg,’ ‘borrow,’ ‘steal’—because it’s a great idea,” Epp says.

Inviting donors to sponsor their own parcel of land, project partners say, taps into an important need that fundraisers are seeing, especially among younger would-be donors, for more direct contact with a project than simply writing a cheque and trusting an organization to use the money as it sees fit.

“The younger generation says, ‘It’s not that we don’t trust you—we want to be involved, and we want to see where it goes, and we want to know how we’re making a difference,’ ” Dyck says.

“If they get excited by the mission, the money will get there, but if it’s just a budget, there’s no real energy,” agrees Canadian Foodgrains CEO Jim Cornelius. “I think one of the things these projects do in communities is they create energy and excitement, and then people are willing to support it, and grow it.”

Grow Hope is also about building bridges between rural and urban people, because it aims partly to reconnect city-dwellers with the sources of their food, Dyck says. Sponsors are welcome to visit “their” acres in person.

Just under half—19 acres (7.7 ha)—of the Niagara field is now sponsored, Dyck notes.

But visitors hoping to see a bounteous harvest there this year will be disappointed. Southern Ontario has been wracked by drought, and the growth of the corn has been severely stunted. On the Niagara field, the corn on an early September day, when Dyck invites visitors to an information session, stands barely elbow-high. He peels off the husks to reveal mostly small, pale cobs with tiny kernels.

The weather over the coming weeks will determine how much of the corn can actually be harvested—if any.

“If the first frost is by Thanksgiving, it’ll be all mowed off,” Dyck says.

Government crop insurance programs will partly compensate the project for its losses, he says. On average, a corn harvest from the Bethesda field might bring somewhere in the neighbourhood of $20,000-$25,000, says Dyck, although the high variability of weather and prices can make for wild fluctuations from this range. With crop insurance, this year’s harvest should mean a cheque for somewhere in the neighbourhood of $12,000-$13,000 or more for Canadian Foodgrains, he says. And again, because the federal government matches Canadian Foodgrains contributions at a rate of 3:1 for food security work and 4:1 for food aid work, the final sum sent to help the hungry overseas will be much higher.

Epp says this year’s bad crop should also serve as a reminder to Canadians of how lucky they are to be living in a country where such events aren’t catastrophic, because of the safety net provided by government—and of the vulnerability of farmers in countries where there’s no such protection.

Canadian Foodgrains, Epp says, is eager to hear from other farmers who may be interested in starting similar Grow Hope projects.

About the Author

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal.  His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.

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Anglican Journal News, September 16, 2016

Companions on the Way begin year of monastic life with sisterhood

Posted on: September 15th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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Participants in the Companions on the Way program are commissioned during Evensong at the convent of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine in Toronto. L-R: Sarah Moesker, Hanné Becker, Christine Stoll, Amanda Avery, and Alisa Samuel, as Bishop Linda Nicholls and Sister Constance Joanna Gefvert look on. Photo by Matt Gardner

Participants in the Companions on the Way program are commissioned during Evensong at the convent of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine in Toronto. L-R: Sarah Moesker, Hanné Becker, Christine Stoll, Amanda Avery, and Alisa Samuel, as Bishop Linda Nicholls and Sister Constance Joanna Gefvert look on. Photo by Matt Gardner

Companions on the Way begin year of monastic life with sisterhood

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Five young women are blazing a new path forward as inaugural participants in the Companions on the Way program. They have officially commenced a year in residence living alongside members of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine (SSJD) at their convent in Toronto, Ont.

On Sunday, Sept. 11, the sisters, joined by Bishop Linda Nicholls, officially commissioned the five Companions: Alisa Samuel, Amanda Avery, Christine Stoll, Hanné Becker, and Sarah Moesker.

Throughout the next 12 months, the Companions will share the daily rhythm of the sisters’ life by engaging in regular prayer, Bible reading, and reflection; focusing on study and work projects; and contributing to a monastic community rooted in spiritual growth and transformation.

Education opportunities include participation in courses offered by the sisters and Wycliffe College. Work projects range from helping the ministry of hospitality in the Guest House, where they will reside, to serving as spiritual care visitors at St. John’s Rehab, assisting in various administrative tasks, or working in areas such as the library, chapel, or kitchen.

The Rev. Sr. Constance Joanna Gefvert, SSJD, described Companions on the Way as a “new monastic community within a traditional monastic community,” reflecting a larger new monastic movement across North America.

Meet the Companions

Each of the Companions, despite their varied backgrounds, saw participation in the program as a way to continue their personal spiritual journey.

Alisa Samuel, the daughter of a Catholic mother and Protestant father, attends St. Jerome’s Roman Catholic Church and New Covenant Church in Brampton, Ont., where she works in customer service and studies piano.

“In the most simple terms, I’m here today to pursue a call on my life,” she said. “My belief is that this experience will probably be an excellent source for personal self-development, spiritual growth, and discernment for future directions as well.”

Amanda Avery, currently pursuing her M. Div at the Atlantic School of Theology, is the director of the Ready-Set-Go program, which benefits low-income pre-schoolers in Halifax.

A member of St. Francis-by-the-Lake Anglican Church, she feels a calling to become ordained as an Anglican priest, and saw the Companions on the Way program program as an opportunity “to discern where I’m going in the next few years, and to understand who I am professionally, who I am religiously, who I am in my career as a child and youth worker … what I’m here to offer the world.”

Sister Elizabeth Rolfe-Thomas, Reverend Mother for the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine, presents the Companions on the Way with individual crosses to wear.
Sister Elizabeth Rolfe-Thomas, Reverend Mother for the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine, presents the Companions on the Way with individual crosses to wear. Photo by Matt Gardner

 

Christine Stoll, originally from Austria, has been living in Canada for the past 15 years and serves as a math teaching assistant at Douglas College in Port Coquitlam, B.C.

A member of St. Catherine of Alexandria Anglican Church, she expressed hopes that living with the sisters would help her with discernment and to “renew and deepen my relationship with God.”

Hanné Becker, a Namibian-born Canadian organist who grew up in the Dutch Reformed Church, recently completed a master’s degree in musical performance at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland. During her studies at the Swiss school, she spent a year living with two sisters in intentional community.

“The experience was really transformative to me and my faith, and also I started to get the desire to serve God in a way that he wants me to,” Becker said.

She described the deep faith and reliability of the sisters as an inspiration to join the Companions on the Way.

“When this came up, I thought, this is a great opportunity to explore that further and see what God has in mind, and to follow the leading of the Spirit.”

Sarah Moesker, a student at Canadian Mennonite University and a member of St. Benedict’s Table at All Saints Anglican Church in Winnipeg, Man., originally hails from Rocky Mountain House, Alta. She felt compelled to join the Companions as her time at university drew to a close.

“For me, I think it comes at a perfect time,” she said, comparing the emotional and spiritual labour she experienced in recent years with the appeal of coming to a place where one could be “mentally, emotionally, and spiritually functional as a person.”

“Now I get to do that in a community that’s already trying to deepen their relationship with God … They’re moving along the same path,” Moesker said. “It’s not me kind of working against the grain of the surrounding university culture. So I feel like it’ll be restful in that way, and I’m really looking forward to that.”

Learning across generations

Bishop Nicholls presided over the official commissioning of the Companions, offering reflections at the evening worship service and bringing greetings from the Community of St. Anselm at Lambeth Palace, which helped inspire the Companions on the Way program.

After the bishop blessed each of the women and individual crosses for them, the sisters presented them with the crosses, as well as journals emblazoned with the slogan, “Live the story you want to tell.”

“This is stepping out into new territory,” Bishop Nicholls said. “It’s part of what I think the church is being called to do—to step out in new ways, and the sisters are just showing us that it’s possible.

ssjd-sign-cropped“Even for a community that many would see as kind of hidebound in tradition, the sisters here have been able to make change in so many ways, and this is another sign of that—of being able to welcome in other people into the community who might not ever have a vocation to the monastic life, but who the sisters can share something with.”

“These women will carry the seeds of that monastic life with them as they go out,” she added. “That’s a good thing for everyone.”

While the Companions expressed excitement at sharing and learning from the structured life of the sisters, many of the sisters were equally enthused at the chance to learn from the young women who would be joining them at the convent.

“It’s going to be exciting … but we don’t really know what to expect,” said Sr. Elizabeth Ann Eckert, SSJD. “We can only share … the way we pray, the way we live … the values that we have in that life with these women, and they’ll pick up what they need from that to take back out.”

Sr. Doreen McGuff, SSJD, concurred, while pushing back against negative stereotypes of millennials.

“For me, having young people come and live with us—young people who’ve chosen to do this, young people who are searching and seeking for some kind of relationship with themselves and with God—is going to be a real blessing,” Sr. McGuff said.

“Having them amongst us is a real opportunity to see what the future of the world is going to be like,” she added. “I personally feel we haven’t really done a good job, my generation, and maybe the next generation is going to do a better job. So I’m looking forward to learning what they’ve got to teach us.”

Updates on the Companions’ convent experience will be available through their official blog.

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Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, September 15, 2016

Archbishop of Canterbury’s XI beat Pope Francis’ cricket team

Posted on: September 14th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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Posted on: September 14, 2016

Photo Credit: Gavin Drake

[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The third annual cricket match between the Vatican’s St Peter’s Cricket Team and the Church of England’s Archbishop’s XI ended with victory for the Anglicans. Yesterday’s convincing win in the blistering heat of Kent County Cricket Club’s Spitfire Ground makes it 2-1 to the Church of England since the first match in 2014.

The Archbishop’s XI batted first and ended their 20 overs on 157 for four. In their reply, the Vatican side had reached 63 for four after 13 overs when Father Tony Currer, from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, was forced to retire with injury.

It was all over a short time later when the St Peter’s Cricket Team finished on 94 for seven – giving the Archbishop’s XI victory by 3 runs! “Justin Welby will be pleased!” a Tweet from the Anglican Centre in Rome said.

The two sides will meet again tomorrow at Edgbaston in Birmingham, where they will be joined by a Muslim side from Yorkshire – the Mount Cricket Club.

They will play a three-way T20 series, beginning at 10.30 am when the Archbishop’s XI once again take on St Peters. This will be followed by St Peter’s taking on the Mount; before the Mount takes on the Archbishop’s XI. The day is expected to end at around 7.30pm. Admission is free and a collection will be taken for anti-trafficking charities.

Today, representatives from the three sides will visit a C of E school in Birmingham where the majority of pupils are Muslims. It is intended to be a demonstration that friendships can transcend faith differences.

The matches have been sponsored by the Church Times and Ecclesiastical Insurance with the support of Kent, Warwickshire and Yorkshire County Cricket Clubs.

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Anglican Communion News Service, September 14, 2016

Intercultural ministry program expands to new locations

Posted on: September 14th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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Participants attend the Deepening Understanding of Intercultural Ministry (DUIM) program at the Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre in Beausejour, Manitoba. The five-day program will take place in multiple locations across Canada in 2016 and 2017. Submitted photo

Participants attend the Deepening Understanding of Intercultural Ministry (DUIM) program at the Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre in Beausejour, Manitoba. The five-day program will take place in multiple locations across Canada in 2016 and 2017. Submitted photo

Intercultural ministry program expands to new locations

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As British Columbia and Quebec join the growing list of locations hosting the Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry (DUIM) program, Anglicans across Canada are invited to broaden their horizons and perspectives of ministry.

Organized by the Canadian Churches Forum for Global Ministries (CCFGM), DUIM is a five-day ecumenical gathering that offers clergy and lay leaders the tools to engage in ministry crossing cultural boundaries within their own context. Through conversations, workshops, and lectures by guest speakers, participants learn about theoretical aspects of cultural difference and practical guidelines to apply them to ministry.

Registration is still open for the fall 2016 DUIM program, which will take place in Vancouver, B.C. and runs from Oct. 17-21. With a limit of 20 participants, registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline for registration at the Vancouver event is Monday, Sept. 19.

Further programs will take place throughout 2017 in Saskatoon, Sask. (Jan. 16-20), Beausejour, Man. (May 8-12), Toronto, Ont. (June), Montreal, Que. (Sept. 25-29), and Peterborough, Ont. (date to be determined). CCGFM director and DUIM facilitator Jonathan Schmidt noted that the Quebec setting will bring a “very different sense of what’s dominant and not dominant culture” due to its French language and culture.

Since its inception in 2013, DUIM has steadily grown in prominence as Anglicans and members of other denominations learn how to bridge cultural barriers in a variety of contexts—from increasingly multicultural cities to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to ministry abroad.

“Just about every parish in Canada has a sign out front that says ‘Everyone is welcome,’ but there are ways, often unconscious, that we aren’t welcoming places,” Schmidt said. “So a real benefit of the program is to really look at who we are and how we keep people outside, and how we can better invite people into our communities.”

Growing Anglican support

Ministries of the Anglican Church of Canada have expressed solidarity with the aims of DUIM through financial support and increasing integration into their own work.

Global Relations, which played a key role in developing forum programs including DUIM and retains a budget to support Anglican participation, provides a bursary to help Anglicans who require financial assistance to attend.

“We see [DUIM] as really for a small but growing group of people in the church who work in a whole variety [of environments]—chaplaincies, downtown core ministries, private schools, hospitals—where the context is really often quite secular [and] very multicultural,” director Andrea Mann said.

“These programs are an opportunity to meet with other people doing similar work, which can sometimes be isolating,” she added. “It’s an opportunity for people to share their experiences, tell stories, and learn through the experience and work of other people.”

In the future, Global Relations intends to work more intentionally with Anglican DUIM alumni to provide support for their development as an effective network to serve a resource for the church. They also plan to encourage further leadership training in intercultural ministry through programs such as Engage Others and Learning for International Faith Engagement, or L.I.F.E.

Faith, Worship, and Ministry has also allocated funds to support DUIM, with director Eileen Scully expressing her intention to further integrate the program into other work such as ministry development and leadership development formation.

“You can’t claim to be a universal expression of the church if you leave out the perspectives of two-thirds of the world … You can’t claim to be a global expression of the church if you are unilingual, or only just bilingual … and if you’re colonial,” Scully said.

Positive experiences

Archdeacon Lon Towstego of the Diocese of British Columbia attended DUIM almost four years ago and described a ‘very positive’ experience, during which he learned about cultural differences related to liturgical practice, belief systems, worship styles, and interpretation of the Bible.

“It deepened my realization that partnership is the key word, and that partnership is always two ways,” said Archdeacon Towstego. As co-chair of the Relationship Matters Committee, he has since furthered work in his diocese towards decolonization of the church and deepening and furthering relationships with First Nations.

Lay facilitator Marie-Louise Ternier-Gommers, who attended DUIM last January in the Diocese of Saskatoon, appreciated the event’s diversity in terms of the wide variety of Christian traditions and ethnic backgrounds represented. She referred to the First Nations elements of the program as “particularly moving and instructive.”

“If there was ever a mission for the Christian churches in today’s conflict-ridden world, it is to help us all to learn to welcome and embrace the one who is different as we are all children of the one God,” Ternier-Gommers said.

“The DUIM course, with its sensitively integrated and local approach, challenges persons of faith to choose listening before judging, sharing before walking away, receiving before dismissing, and loving before condemning. If we can help one another learn to do this a bit more each day, maybe we will live into a renewed relationship, both with God and with one another in all the complexities and diversity of this broken yet beautiful world God has created.”

Registration for DUIM is available online or by contacting Andrea Mann.

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Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, September 13, 2016

Michael Ramsey Prize awarded to dementia study

Posted on: September 9th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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Archbishop Justin Welby with John Swinton, winner of this year’s Michael Ramsey Prize for his book Dementia: Living in the memories of God
Photo Credit: Alex Baker / www.alexbakerphotography.com

[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] A book about faith and dementia has been awarded this year’s Michael Ramsey Prize by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. The Michael Ramsey Prize was launched in by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, in 2005 to celebrate “the most promising contemporary theological writing from the global church.” The prize is awarded every two-to-three years and this was the first time that Archbishop Welby presided over the prize.

The winning work, Dementia: Living in the Memories of God, by John Swinton, “goes straight to the heart of tackling one of the most profound failures of our society – the failure to value people in other than economic terms and to see the dignity of the human person,” Archbishop Welby said.

“John has written a book which is deeply challenging and brings to bear a coherent theological approach, with clinical background and understanding, to an issue that has touched many of us, and is one of the great issues of our society. He has done the church and our country a huge service.”

In addition to the recognition associated with the prize, John Swinton also receives a cash prize of £10,000 GBP.

“I am really pleased to win the Michael Ramsey Prize and grateful for the hard work the judges have put in and for everybody who has been involved,” he said. “My hope is that this book helps us to recognise that in the Kingdom of God everything looks different. Even in something as apparently hopeless as dementia you can find possibilities, because God is a God who never forgets us, who says: ‘I will always be with you, I will always be for you, in all things at all times.’

“It’s not what we remember about ourselves that matters, it’s what God remembers about us – and that’s not just for people with dementia, that’s for all of us. I hope the book will help us to open up our understanding of what it means to be a human being, of what it means to have a vocation, of what it means to trust in God in all things at all times.”

The judges for this year’s Michael Ramsey Prize considered six shortlisted books:

  • Faith & Struggle on Smokey Mountain, by Benigno Beltran (Orbis);
  • Healing Agony: Re-imagining Forgiveness, by Stephen Cherry (Continuum);
  • Children in the Bible, by Anne Richards (SPCK);
  • Unapologetic, by Francis Spufford (Faber & Faber);
  • God’s Presence: a contemporary recapitulation of early Christianity, by Frances Young (Cambridge University Press);and the winner:
  • Dementia: Living in the memories of God, by John Swinton (SCM)

“This year’s Michael Ramsey Prize shortlist offers a glimpse into the riches not just of contemporary Christian thinking, but of Christian living,” Archbishop Welby said. “Each book has been a gift to the Church – helping us to think more deeply, act more wisely and witness more effectively to the glory of God.

“Writing such as this challenges, nourishes and inspires the Church to be ever more deeply and more joyfully what it is called to be: a praying, reconciling, proclaiming and witnessing community of people following Jesus Christ. It has been a real privilege to join my fellow judges in reflecting on these books, and to have the opportunity to share them with a wider audience.”

Benigno Beltran’s Faith & Struggle on Smokey Mountain was this year’s the runner up. Archbishop Welby said it contained “profound spirituality and immensely creative theological thinking.”

The secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, joined Archbishop Welby on this year’s judging panel, alongside the broadcaster and writer Sally Magnusson; Dr Anna Rowlands, lecturer in Catholic studies in the department of theology and religion at Durham University; and Professor Rosalind Searle, director at the Centre for Trust, Peace, & Social Relations.

The prize commemorates Dr Michael Ramsey, who was Archbishop of Canterbury between 1961 and 1974. He was known for his commitment to increase the breadth of theological understanding among both Christians and non-Christians.

It was awarded this weekend at the Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival in Northamptonshire, England.

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Anglican Communion News Service, Daily update from the  ACNS on Tuesday 30 August 2016

Services mark 15th anniversary of 9/11

Posted on: September 7th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

By Gavin Drake/ACNS on September, 07 2016

 

A number of events are scheduled at St. Paul’s Churchyard, which was used as a relief centre for recovery workers for almost a year after the 9/11 attacks. Photo: Trinity Church, Wall Street.


The 15th anniversary of the world’s deadliest terror attack will be remembered in special services and events in New York City this weekend. Some 2,996 people were killed in the September 11 attacks in 2001 when terrorists flew hijacked planes into New York’s World Trade Centre and the Pentagon in Washington. A forth plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, as passengers tried to regain control of the plane.

A number of events will take place at St Paul’s Churchyard – part of the parish of Trinity Church, Wall Street. The chapel at St Paul’s was used as a relief centre for recovery workers for almost a year after the 9/11 attacks.

The church is currently closed for refurbishment; but a number of events will take place in the churchyard, beginning with an 8am Eucharist service which will conclude with the ringing of the Bell of Hope at precisely 8.46am EDT (12.46pm GMT), marking the time the first plane flew into the North Tower.

The Bell of Hope was a gift from the City of London to the people of New York and was presented by the Mayor of London on the first anniversary of the attacks. It has been rung every year on the anniversary of the attacks and to mark terrorist events elsewhere in the world. The bell will be tolled in a pattern of five-strikes, repeated four times – the traditional method used by US firefighters to remember fallen colleagues.

 

TWS_St -Pauls -Chapel

 

St Paul’s Chapel, part of the ministry of Trinity Church, Wall Street, was used as a relief centre for recovery workers for almost a year after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. On Sunday, its churchyard will be the setting for a series of events to mark the 15th anniversary. Photo: Trinity Church, Walsall Street


At 2pm EDT, at Trinity Wall Street, the West Point Band and Cadet Glee Club from the US Military Academy at West Point, New York, will give a concert; including the first public performance of 15 one minute pieces created by composers on the theme of “service” and what it means to different groups of people, including military, first responders and community service.

At 3.30pm, a “Calling of the Names” ceremony will be held in St Paul’s churchyard, honouring the responders, rescue and recovery workers, and volunteers. “We will call the names of those who came to help after the attacks and who have since died,” Trinity Wall Street said.

At 7pm in the churchyard, a programme of words and music will be held as an act of remembrance of those who died in the 9/11 attack and as a result of mass violence worldwide.

The day’s events will conclude with a candlelit Compline service in Trinity Church. “These are the church’s bedtime prayers, and they mark that transition from day into night,” Trinity’s priest for liturgy and pilgrimage, the Revd Daniel Simons, said. “We pray Compline on Sunday evening as a transition before the beginning of the week, as a way to reflect, renew, and refresh.”

Other services and events to mark the anniversary will be held elsewhere in the US and around the world, including in Sydney, Australia, where former Prime Minister John Howard will join the US ambassador to Australia, John Berry, and other diplomats for a service in St Andrew’s Cathedral, to remember the victims of the attack.

“9/11 was a catastrophic event on American soil, but it has affected the whole international community,” the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, said. “62 countries lost people in this devastating attack. The ramifications have been global and put the world on alert for a new form of destructive, annihilistic terrorism which has sprouted groups like Boko Haram, ISIS and Al Shabaab.

“This service provides us with an opportunity to ponder the gravity of so many deaths where the forces of evil appear triumphant. It also enables us to renew our hope, knowing that God is in control and, through Jesus, offers true peace for a broken and divided world.”

Dr Davies will preach at the service, which will take place at 10.30am AEST (12.30am GMT) on Sunday. Mr Howard, who witnessed the attack on the Pentagon as he was in Washington on 11 September 2001, will deliver a reading from the New Testament. A cathedral bell will be tolled 15 times to mark the anniversary.

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Anglican Journal News, September 07, 2016

Christians unite in World Day of Prayer for Creation

Posted on: September 7th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

By Gavin Drake/ACNS on September, 02 2016

Christians around the globe are uniting in a World Day of Prayer for Creation September 1 – a move which was started by the spiritual leader of the Orthodox churches. The day of prayer – and the Season of Creation that runs from today to the Feast of St Francis of Assisi (4 October) – was launched by the Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios in 1989. Last year Pope Francis called on Catholics to join in; and the Anglican Consultative Council – while not specifying any particular period – has repeatedly called on Anglican Provinces to set aside a liturgical season of prayer for creation and the environment.

This year, many Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, and Anglican organisations have joined together in what may the first significant cross-denominational movement of prayer on this scale. Together, they are encouraging the 2.2 billion Christians worldwide to pray and act on ecological issues over the next month. And they are promoting a new ecumenical resource website: seasonofcreation.org.

More than 200 special prayer services will take place today across the globe – including Vespers led by Pope Francis at St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican this evening. Leaders of other Christian denominations will be at the service, which will mark the formal launch of this year’s Season of Creation.

The message is spreading by social media. A Twitter “thunderclap” has a potential total reach in excess of 300,000; and a video of comments made by the Archbishop of Canterbury at this year’s Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka has been watched by more than 30,000 people on his Facebook page and the ACNS website.

“We urgently need to make changes,” Father Frédéric Fornos, the international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, said. “All the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network is involved in this World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, by prayer and action to preserve our ‘common home’ for future generations.”

The general secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Revd Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, said: “As Christians, we have hope. We believe God does not abandon creation and that we ourselves can become beacons of that hope by sowing the seeds of a different future.

He called on Christians worldwide to pray together for “God’s beautiful work” and also to take practical action, by calling on governments to ratify the last year’s Paris agreement on climate change.

The US and China are expected to make a joint statement on climate change during the two-day G20 summit, which gets underway in the Zhejiang city of Hangzhou in China on Sunday.

“A season such as Advent or Lent or Easter looks at significant events in the life of Christ, different parts of Christ’s story . . . and creation factors into every one of those seasons,” the secretary of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN), the Very Revd Ken Gray, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, said.

“Essentially, since the late 1960s, there has not been a profound conversation or theological reflection on God as creator or God in creation in some way, apart from persons such as St Francis. So it’s time, and we’re trying to figure out a way to help folks focus on this particular aspect of God’s graciousness.”

“The global Catholic community joyfully joins Pope Francis and other Christian churches for this important celebration,” the global coordinator of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, Tomás Insua, said. “The website has proven to be a wonderful tool for Christians worldwide to come together in prayer and action to address the severe ecological crisis of our time.”

ACEN is a leading member of the ecumenical group preparing resources for the World Day of Prayer and Season of Creation. The others are the World Council of Churches, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer), the Global Catholic Climate Movement, ACT Alliance and GreenFaith.

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Anglican Journal News, September 02, 2016

Primate, National Indigenous Bishop voice support for Standing Rock

Posted on: September 7th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

By André Forget on August, 26 2016


The route of the Dakota Access pipeline passes beneath the Missouri River not far from Standing Rock Indian Reservation, one of the largest reservations in the U.S. Photo: Jimmy Emerson DVM/Flickr


As pipeline construction near Standing Rock Indian Reservation on the Missouri River continues to cause tensions between Indigenous protesters and the U.S. government, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald are calling on Canadians to support the protesters.

“Many nations have been separated by imposed borders: Blackfoot/Blackfeet, Mohawk, Ojibwe, Sioux, Cree and others. We need to be good relatives and support our brothers and sisters at Standing Rock,” say the two in a statement released August 25.

Since April, thousands of protesters from First Nations communities across North America have converged on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which straddles the border of North and South Dakota, to protest the Dakota Access pipeline.

If completed, the pipeline, which is being built by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, would carry around $450,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to an existing pipeline in Patoka, IL.

Hiltz and MacDonald note that the pipeline will cross beneath the Missouri River not far from where it passes through the Standing Rock Reservation, and will upset burial grounds and endanger the water supply.

They also criticize the project for failing to abide by the norms and standards of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), to which both the U.S. and Canada are signatories. The UNDRIP requires “free, prior and informed consent to the approval of any project affecting [Indigenous] lands or territories and other resources.”

Hiltz and MacDonald credited the protesters for remaining peaceful, despite the fact that some of their leaders, including Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman David Archambault II, have been arrested. The CBC reports that around two dozen other protesters have been arrested and charged with interfering with pipeline construction.

“We call the church to pray for Standing Rock, for good minds to prevail and for peaceful settlement,” the statement says.

“We call upon the church to pray for our governments, both Settler and Indigenous, that they may work together to protect our mother earth.”

Hiltz and MacDonald also acknowledged the bonds of faith that tie Canadian Anglicans and the people of Standing Rock through the strong presence, historically and currently, of The Episcopal Church in that community.

“[We] stand with Standing Rock. We are all related, not only by our blood but also by the blood of Christ,” the statement says.

Standing Rock has launched a lawsuit against the federal regulators who approved the pipeline and requested a temporary block on construction. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said he will issue a decision by September 14.

About the Author

André Forget

André Forget

André Forget joined the Anglican Journal in 2014 as staff writer and social media lead. He also serves as managing editor of Whether Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The Dalhousie Review, The Winnipeg Review, and the Town Crier.

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Anglican Journal News, August 30, 2016